Quality of prints depends on three factors. Paper, ink, and the printing process. There are 3 main types of paper. Gloss, matte, and semi-gloss. Gloss is bad for large prints because it will produce too much glare when it's hung on the wall. Matte is not good in most cases because it will look dull, unless you're going for that look. Semi-gloss is good because it has the vivid, sharp, lifelike photographic look while reducing glare with its anti-glare surface. And we believe the best of the semi-gloss paper is Epson's Premium Luster Photo Paper.
Second thing is ink. There are two types of inks. Dye-based inks and pigmented inks. Dye-based inks have come a long way in quality, but it still does not match pigmented inks. In general, dye-based inks will fade faster than pigmented inks. Pigmented inks are also more vivid. As we use Epson paper, we also only use genuine Epson pigmented inks. Many print shops who don't tell you what kind exactly what kind of paper and ink they are using are most likely sacrificing quality to reduce cost, which is fine for certain temporary commercial applications, but we understand our customers' need for quality and use nothing but the best. After all, it's a piece that will be cherished for years to come. Last thing you want is seeing it fade after couple of years.
Lastly, there are two ways to go about printing when it comes to printing process. There is the traditional RIP software printing, and there is direct-to-printer printing. Most print shops will use rip software to manage multiple print systems. The problem is that most of these rip systems have some default, ink-saving, "good-enough" settings in them where they'll reduce the quality of the image, so your mosaic ends up looking blurry on print, when it should be photo-realistic sharp. This is a common problem in most grocery or office supply store based print shops. We only use the direct to printer method, and always use the highest quality printer settings. This makes a significant different in the sharpness of your small pictures. You can look at it really close, and the pictures will all be very sharp. When you go to other print shops, theirs printers are most likely set to medium quality which increases printing speed and lowers ink consumption, and your small pictures end up not as sharp, which is fine for many applications, but is not ideal for photo mosaics.
Vivid, lifelike, sharp images with lustrous pearl appearance that beautifully reduces glare
Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper
Comes rolled in a round or triangular tube